January 31st Richard Oakeley

The Story of Louvain Organic Nursery and growing organically.

Louvain Organic Nursery is a long established traditional general
nursery, licensed by the Soil Association. Set on the edge of the Downs in Peacehaven they grow a wide range of trees, soft fruit, herbaceous shrubs & vegetable plants to organic standards. They also sell a selection of organic composts & soil improvers.
Richard will be talking about the nursery & organic gardening and will be happy to answer questions about gardening in general.


*** Fun Competition*** Snowdrops in own vase

February 28th Chris Stewart

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Beautiful

Chris worked for many years all around the world producing and selling furniture and glass and was involved in many major building projects – such as Waterloo International and the British Pavilion in Seville – before starting his own gardening and mole trapping business.

He now gives about 40 talks a year to various groups and, for the last 30 years, has carried out a great deal of charity work, which includes litter picking and collecting tools and machinery for “Work Aid” and “Tools for Self Reliance” who send the equipment to various African countries.

Chris’ talk will include a range of creatures found in the garden - some old, some new and some yet to arrive!

He will also talk about one creature that has survived the vacuum of space, the fascinating life cycle studies of amazing creatures, a weed that could keep the world moving, and a range of parasites and fungus - some good, some very bad!  (Check with Jan if you think you know the creatures on the left).

He will explain how even the ugly can look beautiful and warns us to be prepared to be scared as we will not look at our gardens in the same way again!


*** Fun Competition*** 5 Hellebore Flower Heads Floating in Water

March 28th Annie Guilfoyle

What makes a Great Garden Tickets £4 from Jan Williams

Annie Guilfoyle is an award-winning designer and an RHS Chelsea Flower Show Silver Medal winner. After studying horticulture at Capel Manor College in Enfield, Middlesex, she gained a BA Honours Degree in Garden Design from Middlesex University. Annie combines running a successful garden design consultancy with lecturing and writing on the subject.

Her television work includes being a featured designer on the BBC-TV series Small Town Gardens and Gardeners’ World and The Garden Makers on Meridian TV. These programmes demonstrate Annie's expertise in transforming tiny spaces into contemporary urban sanctuaries, with modern art and architecture being key influences.

A fine example is the sculpture garden for the Zimmer Stewart Gallery in Arundel, West Sussex.


*** Fun Competition*** 3 Daffodils in own Vase


April 25th Brian Wickenden

Colour for All Seasons

Brian started gardening in earnest in about 1990, joined a local Gardening club in 1996 and immediately was elected on the committee as Secretary.  (Don’t ask!).  In 1995 his collection of Corydalis was accepted by Plant Heritage, and he has maintained this collection to date - although the past 3 years have been a challenge.  Brian retired from the Fire Service in 1997 and has always taken pictures of plants, flowers and scenery which came in useful when one of the Gardening Club’s speakers cancelled at short notice.  From there it took off and he has been giving talks on a variety of subjects ever since.  He became President of the same society about 5 years ago, and is currently Chairman, having served on the Committee throughout the last 26 years.                                                                                                                           

Brian’s knowledge of plants and flowers has grown in this time and, although a lot of gardening is a grey area, Brian and his wife have what they believe to be a garden with colour for all seasons.



*** Fun Competition*** 3 Tulips in own Vase

May 30th Melanie Gibson Barton

Parks and Gardens of Flanders

From being an enjoyable part-time hobby, the repeat bookings for Melanie’s talks grew to such an extent that she gave up a stressful job to become a full-time speaker.  Over the years she has increased the number of subjects that she offers to reflect her expanding interests.
In October 2016 Melanie was delighted to be the guest speaker at the Annual Council Meeting of the West Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes, and
she has passed auditions to become a registered public speaker - regularly speaking at AGMs and Group meetings.

Melanie’s colourfully illustrated talk about the Parks and Gardens of Flanders is a wide-ranging talk which will appeal to garden lovers and walkers - and armchair gardeners and will show the distinctive style of Flemish gardening and lots more!

June 27th Geoff Hodge

Gardening on a Chalky Soil Tickets £4 from Jan Williams

Geoff Hodge is a freelance garden writer and editor, writing and working for various national gardening magazines and websites, as well as lots more besides! Previously, he was the Online Editor for the Royal Horticultural Society, Gardening Editor and Editor of Garden News magazine and Technical Editor of Garden Answers magazine.

He has written eight gardening books, including five for the RHS, with titles ranging from pruning and propagation to allotments and bulbs and a topic close to his heart – botany for gardeners.

He is a regular guest expert on gardening programmes on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire,

appears on Q&A panels at flower shows across the country, gives lots of talks and demonstrations at garden centres, garden shows and gardening clubs, and answers hundreds of gardening questions every year for various organisations.

Before getting into garden writing, he was the Manager of Sussex Country Gardens Garden Centre at Kingston near Lewes.

Gardening on chalky soils can be a challenge – but I guess I don’t need to tell you that! In this illustrated talk, Geoff Hodge describes exactly what the challenges are, what you can try to do to alleviate them, and looks at plants that are particularly suited to alkaline and chalky soils.



*** Fun Competition*** 5 Sweetpea / 3 Roses / Single Rose in own vase

July 25th Antony Powell

Showtime! How to Prepare your Show Entries Just the Way The Judges Like Them!

Antony Powell started his horticultural training as an apprentice at Hillier Nurseries. This led to him doing an HND in Amenity Horticulture at Askham Bryan College near York.

For the last 16 years he has been working in a number of private gardens in West Berkshire / North Hampshire.

His mother inspired his gardening, and he started showing as a schoolboy. Since then, he has entered countless shows and, in the process of wanting to do the best, he often took the opportunity to ‘shadow’ the judges. Now on the RHS Judges’ register he hopes to give back something to an iconic part of English cultural life, the Village Show.

Saturday 5th August-Seaford & District Horticultural Annual Show,

Cradle Hill School, Lexden Road, Seaford.

Open to the public 1.30pm

Entry £1 per person, children free

September 26th Graham Bowring

Secret Life of Hedgehogs

Graham Bowring has been running a Hedgehog Rescue for over 30 years. He runs it on a voluntary basis from his home, and cares for sick, injured, and orphaned hedgehogs with the aim of returning them to the wild. A lot of his work involves visiting schools to educate children about the "Secret Life of the Hedgehog", and to discuss the issues regarding the steep decline in Hedgehog numbers in this Country.

He hopes to bring along one of his Prickly friends to his talk!

October 31st Alan Williams

A Year in the Allotment-an evening celebrating allotments

Alan has been gardening since he was about 3 years old, when he had a small veggie patch in his parent’s garden.

He’s a biologist by formal training, and now a freelance environmental consultant and enthusiastic amateur gardener, as well as a public speaker on many things related to allotments and growing and consuming vegetables.

He lives and gardens in Hampshire on the South Coast and has had his current allotment for 14 years.

An Allotment Year – Alan will give us an overview of the vegetable growing of an allotment over the course of a year, looking at the different seasons and what’s happening when, and sprinkling it with anecdotes and stories from an allotment holders’ experiences.

Explore different options such as companion planting, pests and diseases, different growing methods (raised beds, back to Eden gardening), with time for questions and answers.


*** Fun Competition*** An Autumn Bouquet in own vase

November 28th AGM


Please come along to our AGM.

It is a great opportunity to meet the Committee and other members and to find out what is happening with YOUR Horticultural Society!